The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office spent almost $100,000 in 2016 on weapons for its Bureau of Investigation, an amount greater than that spent by three other Southern California prosecutors’ offices and almost as much as the San Diego Police Department, reports the city’s Union-Tribune. The office won’t say exactly what they purchased with the money. But Alex Garcia, a former investigator who spent 17 years in the bureau, said the expenditure reflects a new approach on how to run the unit from Chief Investigator Miguel Rosario, a former San Diego police captain who took over in early 2016.
Garcia said that Rosario has brought more of a police-oriented culture to the bureau’s work, which has historically done more investigative work on economic and insurance fraud, public corruption, and gang case prosecutions. “This is the new chief’s theme,” said Garcia, who retired in February. “That they are a front line police department — and he’s arming them to do that — but they’re not.” Steve Walker, communications director for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, said on Friday the purchases were unrelated to any change in philosophy at the bureau. In a statement, Walker said the office had to replace aging and outdated equipment, some of which was 15 to 20 years old. The San Diego Police Department, with about 1,800 sworn officers, spent $143,000 on weapons last year, according to city records.